By Dr. Mark Creech
Christian Action League
June 20, 2017
My wife, Kim, presented me with a gift for Father’s Day last weekend. It’s a beautiful patriotic picture painted on wood slats of a motto used by American colonists when our nation was still in its infancy. I’m not exactly sure where I will hang it in my office, but I can’t wait to get it up. She found it at an antique store.
You know, there are some prominent Christian leaders who believe the American Revolution, more specifically, our nation’s resistance to the King of Great Britain was in violation of Scripture. The blessings that have come to our great nation have come in spite of our Founding Fathers disobedience, they argue.
Despite their claims that the Founders turned to works from the Enlightenment period and were guilty of poor biblical exegesis, I am convinced their conclusions are wrong – very wrong.
The resistance of early Americans to the King’s power was thoroughly biblical. Their views were largely formed from church teaching at the time, which rightly affirmed that they were forbidden to overthrow the institution of government and live in anarchy. They understood the Bible’s teachings that government was ordained of God. Its purpose is to protect the God-given rights of the people and to punish evil-doers. Nevertheless, when government becomes corrupt and is led by tyrannical leaders who themselves have clearly rebelled against God; it is then one’s Christian duty to oppose such tyrants and establish a government which fulfills its proper role.
Scriptural models for this position are when God raised up leaders such as Gideon, Ehud, Jepthah, Samson, and Deborah to throw off tyranny.
This is what our Founders believed and they were right.
Founding Father James Otis once summarized it this way:
“Government. . . . is by no means an arbitrary thing depending merely on compact or human will for its existence. . . . There can be no prescription old enough to supersede the law of nature and the grant of God Almighty, who has given to all men a natural right to be free; and they have it ordinarily in their power to make themselves so if they please….If both those powers are retained in the hands of the many (where nature seems to have placed them originally), the government is a simple democracy, or a government of all over all. . . . [God is] the only monarch in the universe who has a clear and indisputable right to absolute power because He is the only one who is omniscient as well as omnipotent.” (James Otis, The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved (Boston: J. Williams 1766), pp. 11, 13, 16-18)
In those days, if you were to ask an American to whom he owed allegiance, it was not uncommon to hear the reply that he had no king and no governor but Jesus Christ.
Thus, “We Owe Allegiance to No Crown.”
When we consider the abuses of our Constitution during the days of the Obama administration, as well as its ill-treatments by the federal courts, it appears this is a most relevant lesson for our own time. We seemingly have those who now wear self-appointed crowns. They are in rebellion to Almighty God and they tyrannically run rough-shod over the God-given rights of the people.
Thank you, Kim. Your gift reminds us of foundational truths that we cannot afford to forget.